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How to win at Black Friday: Must-know insight for buyers and sellers

(Image credit: Mike Petrucci on Unsplash)

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just weeks away now, the major retail event is very much on the minds of both buyers and sellers alike. Knowing the best way to approach Black Friday, from either perspective can be tricky, but looking back previous years' consumer online shopping trends can offer some invaluable insight.

Today Adobe has released its Black Friday and Christmas spending predictions. The information the report contains was gathered by leveraging Adobe Sensei, its AI and machine learning technology, to identify retail insights from one trillion visits to US retail sites, and by using Adobe Analytics data to measure transactions at 80 of the top 100 retailers in the US. The 41-page report is packed full of must-know holiday shopping insight that both consumers and retailers can use to their advantage.

Here we break down the report to reveal even more ways to help you make the most of the upcoming holiday shopping season. And don't forget we've also got a number of dedicated articles to help you find the deal you're looking for, including the best Adobe Black Friday, Apple Black Friday and Surface Pro Black Friday.

01. Shorter holiday season means earlier deals

The 2019 holiday shopping season is the shortest ever, with just 22 days between Cyber Monday and Christmas. While only six days fewer than last year, the difference equates to a massive one billion dollars in lost revenue. Retailers are obviously keen to make that up, and will do so by starting the deal season earlier than ever before. 

Long gone are the days when Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals were just seen over one dedicated weekend. This year the whole of November will almost certainly see Black Friday deals, which is worth remembering if you're on the hunt for a specific offer. This is also great news for sellers, with much more time to make sales and less likelihood of alienating consumers with talk of deals early on. 

“The compressed shopping cycle will see retailers launching offers far earlier than ever before,” said John Copeland, head of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe. “With fewer days to spend, Adobe Analytics predicts that BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) will be more popular than ever before, with revenue from this delivery method doubling in the week before Christmas as shoppers rush to complete their gift lists.”

02. 2019 is all about Cyber Monday

If Adobe's predictions are accurate (and based on the amount of data gathered and the tech used to do so, we've no reason to think they aren't), 2019 is all about Cyber Monday. 

Adobe's report suggests 51 per cent of consumers prefer to shop on the main days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the latter coming out on top this year with a predicted 18.9% rise in revenue over last year, set to make it the first $9B day in ecommerce revenue.  

There's no doubt about it, Black Friday is the day that takes the most focus, but if Adobe's data is anything to go by, shifting that gaze to the following Monday might make a lot of business sense for buyers and sellers alike. 

03. Don't miss the 'golden hours'

Adobe has drilled down Cyber Monday even further, reporting the hours 7PM and 11PM PST were the most profitable in 2018, with over 30 per cent of Cyber Monday revenue generated during that time. According to the report, conversions nearly doubled during these 'golden hours' as people worried they might miss out. Something for sellers all over the globe to bare in mind. 

04. Smartphone shopping is the way forward 

This year it's predicted that people in America will spend an average of $14.08 more on their smartphones during the holiday shopping period than in 2018. Add that up and it means over half the increase in spending this year will come from smartphone shopping. If ever there was a time to optimise your online store for mobile, it's now.

05. Small brands need to focus on messaging

Analytics from Adobe's report found that, much like larger retailers, smaller brands see a boost in traffic and trading during the holiday season, however, not to quite to the same impressive degree. 

For small brands, the conversion rate increases by 23% and bounce rate decreases by just 2 per cent, opposed to 32 per cent and 4 per cent respectively for that of their larger counterparts, which suggests some work is needed from smaller brands when it comes to specific holiday messaging. 

If you're an independent, smaller business looking to get in on the peak trading action, pay close attention to your marketing strategy in the lead up to the event to help maximise your conversion rates and decrease bounce rates. 

06. Discover the best day for the best deals

Based on activity from last year, Adobe has predicted what day will be the best to get the deal you want. For more information, take a look at this post, which highlights when the best time is to make the biggest savings on a number of different products. 

Want to know more? You can read the full Adobe 2019 holiday shopping report here.

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Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.